Today, the Department of State hosted a meeting of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP). The meeting, which was open to the public, focused on a report from the Investment Subcommittee regarding its review of the U.S. Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). The ACIEP agreed unanimously to forward the report to the Administration for its consideration.
Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Robert D. Hormats, who hosted the meeting along with Committee Chairman Theodore Kassinger, welcomed the report. "We in the Administration value input from the full range of stakeholders as we review the U.S. model BIT, and we will weigh carefully the report and its recommendations in the context of our ongoing review," Under Secretary Hormats said.
A meeting summary and copy of the report will be posted to the ACIEP website at: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/adcom/aciep/index.htm. The Committee serves the U.S. Government in a solely advisory capacity concerning current issues and challenges in international economic policy.
The United States negotiates BITs on the basis of a model text, last updated in 2004. The Administration is reviewing the model to ensure that it is consistent with the public interest and the overall U.S. economic agenda.
The report was submitted to the ACIEP by an Investment Subcommittee co-chaired by Thea Lee, Policy Director of the AFL-CIO and Alan Larson, Senior International Policy Advisor for Covington & Burling. The subcommittee membership represents a broad range of interests, with representation from business, academia, labor, environmental NGOs, and the legal profession.
The report complements the Administration’s other outreach efforts in the review process, which include a public meeting held at the State Department on July 29, the solicitation of written comments from the public (posted at http://www.regulations.gov/), seeking input from the statutory advisory committees that advise the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Commerce, and consulting with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the congressional trade committees, and other interested congressional committees.
The United States is presently a party to BITs with 40 countries (list available at http://www.state.gov/e/eb/ifd/bit/117402.htm). The Department of State and USTR co-lead U.S. BIT negotiations and the review process. For more information, contact Kerry Humphrey at 202-647-0677.